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Conn. officials seek info from Newtown charities

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials are seeking more information about the amount of money collected and the intended purposes of dozens of charities related to the Newtown school shooting.

Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein sent out letters Thursday with a short survey to 69 charities registered with the state or identified as having accepted donations related to the tragedy.

The letter said donors need information to help make informed giving decisions and to understand the purposes for which their gifts will be used.

Officials cited estimates that more than $15 million has been donated to Newtown-related charities since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December in which 20 children and six educators were killed.

"Donors need information to help make informed giving decisions and to understand the purposes for which their gifts will be used," officials wrote. "This is particularly important — and challenging — when so much money is being raised so quickly."

The survey, which is voluntary, asks charities how much they raised, whether the money will be used solely for the victims or, if not, what portion will be used for other purposes. Officials want to know how much charities have spent related to the tragedy, what services have been provided and whether they've funded other organizations.

The charities were asked to respond by April 12, with the results then made available to the public on their websites to guide future donors. They were advised that additional information would be requested later about disbursements and steps taken to prevent fraud or misuse of money.

Officials said posting the information should not be considered an endorsement of a charity.

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